Thursday, March 31, 2011

Baby Whisperer Personality Types: Angel Baby

My angel baby
I find one of the most interesting things in the Baby Whisperer books is her personality typing. I wanted to talk about each one individually. In The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems, Hogg talks about Angel babies in general on page 58.

In Baby Whisperer: Know Your Baby I talk about personalities. Because Brayden was a non-Babywise baby for his first 9 weeks, I can think of his babyhood pre-babywise and post-babywise. His personality definitely changed when we started Babywise. Hogg has a quiz in Secrets of the Baby Whisperer, and here are his numbers:

  • Angel baby: 1
  • Textbook baby: 4
  • Touchy Baby: 7
  • Spirited Baby: 4
  • Grumpy Baby: 3
Post Babywise
  • Angel baby: 8
  • Textbook baby: 12
  • Touchy Baby: 0
  • Spirited Baby: 0
  • Grumpy Baby: 0

Quite the difference, right? We will talk more about him later--he is obviously not the angel baby.

Since we are talking angel babies, let me show you Kaitlyn's numbers--she is my angel baby:

  • Angel baby: 17
  • Textbook baby: 3
  • Touchy Baby: 0
  • Spirited Baby: 0
  • Grumpy Baby: 0

Angel babies are called "angel" because they are just that--angels. As good as gold. Easy as can be. Kaitlyn was/is an "angel" personality type and would have been with or without Babywise. Even with reflux, she was undeniably and angel.

Generally good eaters as babies and open to trying something new.

Kaitlyn was an amazing eater as a baby. She was my fastest nurser. She liked everything she ate as a baby, though she did not love mushy baby food. She preferred real texture.

Kaitlyn does have some "pickiness" with food. She does not like food that is acidic at all. She never had acidic food as a baby for the obvious "don't feed babies acidic food" reasons. She doesn't like spaghetti sauce. She doesn't like ketchup. She doesn't like pineapple or oranges. She doesn't like orange juice. I think that all stems back to reflux. Those foods give her heartburn.

Moderately active. They play independently from babyhood on. High tolerance for change and easily portable. Very social, like to interact, and are good at sharing.

Kaitlyn was always content to sit and play--she still is. She doesn't need to be running around to be happy. She has always been an amazing independent player. She was as a baby and still is to this day. Independent play has never been an issue. 

She has always handled disruptions well. Angel babies are great as a non-first born because you can mess with their schedule for activities and they don't melt down. 

Kaitlyn is the queen of social. Everyone loves Kaitlyn. She is sweet and makes friends everywhere she goes--seriously. She has an incredible understanding of social graces and I kid you not, she is a far better hostess than I am. 

Kaitlyn is great at sharing. She has her moments of possessiveness, but overall, she is very willing and happy to share with others.

Goes down easily and independently. Good sleeper.

Kaitlyn is a great, great sleeper. Do you know that since she started sleeping through the night, we have only been woken by her in the night one time? One time--and that was last month...she had a bad dream I think. Nothing interrupts her sleep. I have been woken more times than that by Brayden, and I have been woken more times than that by McKenna. The sleep of an angel baby is incredible.

Usually easy going and upbeat. Steady and predictable. 

This is also true for Kaitlyn, though a three year old girl definitely has her extreme emotional states! That is where the "usually" comes in. As a baby, though, she was always happy.

Good as gold--I could have five like him--We were really lucky--It was like there wasn't even a baby in the house...

Yes--very true.

I think every parent deserves an angel baby--it is a lovely experience. They are very easy in general. If your baby is not an angel baby, however, don't despair. As you saw in my numbers with Brayden, you can have angel baby characteristics even with one of the more difficult personality types as a result of your nurturing. 

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How to Go Back to Being a Stay at Home Spouse

This is a guest post.


Over the last few decades, many families have gone from being a one-income to a two-income
household. Back in 1977, about 66 percent of homes had both couples working, compared to 79
percent today.

Statistics aside, after awhile, you might start to think it is time to stay at home again with the kids, or
perhaps you want to go back to school. Is it feasible to go back to one bread winner?

With some good planning and brainstorming, it is very possible to survive on one income. First,
have a heart-to-heart with your spouse, and explain why it is important to you to step away from
your job. Financial decisions should always involve both spouses, so it does not lead to domination of
finances by one person.

Next, work on a budget; not a fun task, but a must if your income is going to be cut in half. You know
you have to pay for your home and groceries, but what can you live without. Is cable television
necessary, or having a home phone and cell phones? Review your expenses and get rid of those
deemed unnecessary.

If you have quite a few larger expenses you may feel it won't be easy to cut back, but think outside
the box. If one person will no longer be driving to work, sell that extra vehicle. Have a hefty
mortgage? Perhaps you could rent a room out to a college student. If you have any credit card debt,
be sure to pare that down also.

Be practical. If you live in the country, selling one car could save you money but cause problems
transporting the kids and doing the household tasks. Perhaps unloading a car with a payment in favor
of a less expensive second car might be a better option for you.

You may have to look at your social life, and back off a bit. Cut back on those dinners out, movies, and
sporting events. You can always cook an exotic meal at home, or rent a movie.

Most importantly, practice living on one income before you take the leap. Basically live as though you
are not making that second income. Put it into a saving account, do not use it for any expenses, and
see how you fare after a month or two.

If you are ready to quit that job and make it on one income, do your research and be sure all of your
necessary bills will be covered. If you’re cutting back, be patient with your family while they adjust
to the changes. In the end, it may be easier than you think to live on less.


Just a little anecdote from me. When Brayden was born, we made very little money. Very little. I was not working, my husband was going to school full time and working a part time job at a whopping $10 an hour (which we thought was a whole lot of money--and it was for a part-time job). We couldn't afford much, but this I do know. We were no less happy than we are now. We can buy a lot more now, but I believe the saying that money doesn't buy happiness.

The other day my sister commented that money doesn't buy you happiness, but debt can sure make you miserable! I believe that, too. Do what you can to cut your debt--live responsibly. This article has some good tips for you to be able to cut back on your spending and save some money!

Emergency Preparedness--Time to Review!

"They" say it is a good idea to review your emergency preparedness stuff twice a year. I have decided to do it in October and April, and thought I would remind you all when I do so you can do it then too if you so desire.

Now is the time to assess what you have. Now is the time to make goals for the next six months. What would you like to add? Now is the time to look through things like a 72 hour kit and update items (like clothes sizes and perhaps the type of clothes. Change to cooler clothes now, warmer clothes in October--assuming you are in the Norther Hemisphere). 

If you are having a hard time deciding how to track your emergency items, I have been working on a plan and will share that with you later this month!

Poll Results: What age range is hardest for you?

  246 (48%)
Baby 4-6 months
  30 (5%)
Baby 7-9 months
  17 (3%)
Baby 10-12 months
  10 (1%)
Pre-Toddler (12-18 months)
  30 (5%)
Toddler 18-24 months
  26 (5%)
2 year old
  39 (7%)
3 year old
  18 (3%)
4 year old
  5 (0%)
5 year old or older
  3 (0%)
Don't know yet!
  85 (16%

Total of 509 votes


Reminder: You can leave comments on poll results posts if you would like to add to the poll after it has closed. This would be helpful for those who have more than one child, those whose children have reached certain ages after a poll closed, and those who didn't visit the blog while that poll was open. To find closed polls, click on the poll results link above

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

McKenna Toddler Summary: 2 Years Old!

You read it right. McKenna is now two. Wow. A word that really describes McKenna is "fun." She loves to have fun, she is fun, she is always having fun, and people around her have fun. She makes people laugh and smile constantly. Sometimes her drive for fun leads her to do mischief, but she is relatively easily brought back to the right track.

McKenna is still eating well. I can tell she is getting more skeptical about things, though. Rather than grabbing anything put before her and scarfing it down, she might turn her head a bit and give it a sideways glance while she thinks it over. She does end up eating everything put before her; she just thinks about the new or unfamiliar stuff, which I think is a good thing.

Last month, we moved to a booster seat. She is doing well with it, though she has introduced issues I have never faced before. She likes to squirm around and try to stand up sometimes. I have never had a child do that. Buckles work, as does taking the child right out and ending meal time, which for a child like McKenna (one who loves to eat) is enough to cure her of the desire to push the envelope on this topic. [Added--I want to make clear I am talking about a booster seat at the dinner table, not in the car]

Independent play and sibling play are both great. McKenna absolutely loves to be outside, so we are both looking forward to perfect weather so we can spend a lot of time outside. She is the type (as I think most children are--but not all) to just stay out no matter how cold she is, so I have to monitor her and not just wait for her to decide she is cold enough.

On a playing-related topic, McKenna had a couple of weeks where she was an absolute tornado. Absolute. She was a masterful mess maker. She likes to clean, so she would help clean-up, but I have never had a child make a bigger mess on their own! She was going through cupboards and drawers and closets...she could empty something in 60 seconds easily! She happily snapped out of the tornado thing. Now we just have normal sized messes.

Night Sleep
The time change was this month, and night sleep stayed great.

Naps, on the other hand, did not. I don't want to complain because she is still napping 2.5 hours. However, she was napping 3.5-4 hours until the time change.

Not only that, she was waking up crying. I watched her on the video monitor and she was literally waking up crying.

She had no sickness and no teeth that I could see. She could have been having bad dreams. 

My conclusion, though, was that she was just off because of the time change and not sleeping well. I gave it time, and as of right now, naps are still "short," but she is not waking up crying. That is good. 

I also taught her that instead of crying, she needed to say "Mommy! Up please!" After only explaining it once, she started doing it! I was very shocked. 

McKenna had her 2 year well-visit with the doctor and all is well. She is in the high 50s for her size, so just above average. The doctor is surprised at how much she talks (but honestly with the amount of talking my three year old does, it seems like nothing--just wait till I have two fluid female talkers competing to talk to me!).

Learning continues to explode. She is suddenly able to identify most colors and can now count to 7 consistently, sometimes beyond. These little toddlers are amazing! This is one reason I just love the toddler age. 

Birthday Party
McKenna had her birthday party. She loved every last second of the attention and fun. 

Our Schedule
9:00--bath/get ready
10:00--sibling playtime with Kaitlyn
10:30--independent playtime11:30--learning time. Sometimes lunch is later and she watches Elmo here.
12:00--lunch. Then play with Brayden and Kaitlyn
4:00/4:30: get up
5:00--Dinner. Free play and family time
8:00--in bed by this time. Sometimes sooner.

Times are approximate

Monday, March 28, 2011

5 Stages of Solid Foods

On Becoming Babywise book two has a great guide to the five food stages for babies on page 25. I think you will find this very interesting and will help answer a lot of questions I see moms have. Do note, as the book points out, these are not absolute rules for feeding. I know some of my kid did some things differently, but in general, this is quite accurate for most kids.

Stage One: 4-6 months old (if you decide to feed before 6 months)
This is a single grain cereal stage and only single ingredient baby foods. Even if you start solids right at four months and take introducing things on a faster track by doing veggies first followed by fruits, you won't have introduced all of the basic foods before 6 months anyway.

Stage Two: 6-7 months old
Single ingredient foods. You can mix single ingredients that your baby has been introduced to. For example, if your baby has been introduced to cereal and prunes, you can mix them together for pruney cereal (yum!).

Stage Three: 8-12 months old
Foods become more textured, meaning the foods are not so watered down. Children also eat more at one sitting in this age group than previously.

Stage Four: 12-15 months old
Your now pre-toddler will be eating meals with the family and will also have some baby food added to the meal.

Stage Five: 15 months and up
Your pre-toddler now eats with the family and needs no additional supplementation. 

This is a great list for reference. Many times, parents wonder when to start feeding baby what the family is eating and when to stop feeding baby food. This is a great guide. Don't think you can't ever give a 16 month old baby food--again, don't take this list legalistic. Take it as a good guide, then follow baby's lead from there.

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

For Your Little Monkey {Giveaway!}

For Your Little Monkey is a company that makes these cute shirts. You can get one of her cute designs or you can even request a custom design! This is another company we did a giveaway for a year ago and are doing again! To see the original review, go here.

Here are some samples of the cuteness you can get from this shop:

Today, you are entering to win a $30 gift certificate to this shop, which in a lot of cases will get you two shirts! How exciting!

For Your First Entry:
Become a follower of this blog. Then leave a comment. If you are already a follower (the thing where your cute face pops up with all the other cute faces of people following), comment telling me so.

Sample Entry 

I am a follower!

For Your Second Entry:

Go to the For Your Little Monkey Etsy shop. Look around and come back and comment telling us what you think you will choose if you win.

Sample Entry

This is a hard decision. If I win, I think I will choose the Beetles faces.

For Your Third Entry:

Like Lola Decor on Facebook. Comment telling us you did so. You might already like it (the same person owns FYLM as Lola Decor--our giveaway last week).

Sample Entry

I like it on Facebook!

For Your Fourth Entry:

Like this blog on FacebookAlready do? Tell me so. Comment saying you are a fan.

Sample Entry

Hi! I like on Facebook!

For Your Fifth Entry:

Heart the For Your Little Monkey Etsy shop. Come back and leave a comment saying you did so (you need an etsy account to heart a shop).

Sample Entry
I hearted the shop!

For Your Sixth Entry: 

Change your status on Facebook to talk about this blog giveaway with a link to this review. Leave a comment saying you did so.

Sample Entry

I changed my status!

For Your Seventh Entry:

Follow me on Twitter. Once you have done so, come back and comment and include your Twitter ID. Already do? Comment saying so.

Sample Entry
I follow on Twitter! @valplowman

Entry Rules
  • You must leave a comment in order to have an entry.
  • You must leave a separate comment for each entry. This is not so I can get lots of comments--it is because it makes it a million times easier to choose a winner. It takes less time, and less time is good. Plus, it makes sure I don't miss an entry.
  • You don't have to do all seven entries...for example, if you just want to follow this blog, you can just do entry one.
  • One entry per comment.
  • Up to seven entries per person.
  • You must fulfill the rules of each entry for each entry to count. If I see the entry is not valid (did not meet entry requirements), I will disqualify your entry. Trust me, I check.
  • Entries will be accepted until 11:59 PM Friday, April 8 Mountain Standard Time.
  • The winner will be randomly selected at
  • The winner will be announced Saturday, April 9.
  • If you would like, you can add your email address to your entry. If you are the winner, I will email you to let you know. You do not need to add your email address in order to win. I understand not everyone wants to share their email addresses with the world. I will announce the winner on the blog, so you can check the blog Saturday to find out if you won.
  • Once the winner is announced, you will have one week to contact me or another winner will be chosen. Be sure to check back. The only thing worse than not winning is to win but not realize it in time!


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